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Category: Jim Mora

College football: USC Coach Lane Kiffin tries to raid UCLA staff

Lane Kiffin

The tug of war between UCLA and USC reached a new flash point this month when Trojans Coach Lane Kiffin tried to lure Bruins assistant Eric Yarber across town.

Yarber, hired as UCLA’s receivers coach in January, declined.

“I think it is flattering to Eric, and to UCLA,” Bruins Coach Jim Mora said. “It’s a signal that, so far, we have done a good job of hiring assistants.”

Yarber was an assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last two seasons. He previously coached with Arizona State, Washington, UNLV and Idaho, and with the San Francisco 49ers.

What makes Yarber even more attractive is that he grew up in Los Angeles, playing at Crenshaw High School, and is plugged in to the recruiting scene.

“We talked,” Kiffin said. “Eric has been a successful college and NFL coach. In the end, it didn’t work out.”

Kiffin also said that he had talked with Mora before approaching Yarber.

Attempted “coach poaching” is nothing new in the rivalry.

USC made a play for UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow when Kiffin was hired two years ago. Rick Neuheisel, in his first season as UCLA’s coach, wooed USC assistant Ken Norton.


Lane Kiffin hires two assistant coaches

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Lane Kiffin. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

UCLA football: Breckterfield out as Bruins' defensive line coach

Inoke-ucla_150UCLA Coach Jim Mora has rescinded the offer to Inoke Breckterfield to remain as the Bruins’ defensive line coach after Eric Yarber was brought on staff as receivers coach Monday.

Yarber’s hire put UCLA at the NCAA limit of nine assistant coaches. Mora still has to hire a defensive coordinator, so someone had to go.

Breckterfield spent one season as the Bruins; defensive line coach. UCLA announced on Dec. 15 that he would be retained. Monday's news release said Breckterfield has an "opportunity to remain on staff in a football operations role."

Angus McClure, a Bruin assistant who was also retained, was announced Monday as the new defensive line coach. He was the special teams and assistant offensive coach last season, though it remains to be seen if the new defensive coordinator will want his own defensive line coach.

UCLA also announced that Sal Alosi has been hired as strength and conditioning coach.

— Chris Foster

Photo: Inoke Breckterfield. Credit: UCLA

UCLA football: Carroll, Nelson and Flowers leave Bruins' program

Jim Mora began reshaping the UCLA football program by dismissing two players, while a third left school because of academic issues, the school announced Monday.

Tight end Raymond Nelson and defensive tackle Wesley Flowers were both let go for violating team rules. Randall Carroll is academically ineligible and is no longer enrolled at UCLA.

Carroll was allowed to play in the bowl game after filing an appeal. Carroll had come to UCLA with great fanfare, as former Coach Rick Neuheisel had lured him away from USC.

He was also outspoken and was one of the vocal critics when UCLA temporarily withheld players’ bowl checks last month.

Carroll was the California 100- and 200-yard champion as a senior at Los Angeles Cathedral High School in 2009. He came to UCLA as wide receiver but had only 21 receptions in three seasons and was
making the transition to defensive back.

Nelson, a freshman, appeared in eight games. Flowers, a redshirt freshman, has struggled with injuries since he came to UCLA.

--Chris Foster


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SEC is consistently better ... and occasionally lucky

Photo: Randall Carroll, left, Wesley Flowers and Raymond Nelson. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

UCLA football: Tight end Raymond Nelson dismissed from team


Raymond Nelson, freshman tight end at UCLA, has been kicked off the team for an incident that occurred prior to the Bruins’ playing Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Nelson was sent home the day before the game for violating team rules, according to according to a person with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak on the subject. Coach Jim Mora, hired last month, reviewed the situation before making his decision.

Neither Mora nor Nelson could be reached for comment.

Nelson’s brother, Reeves Nelson, was thrown off the UCLA basketball team in December after a series of incidents that resulted in two suspensions.

Reeves Nelson served a five-game suspension in November for being late to a team meeting and exhibiting other behavior that was deemed insubordinate. His behavior while benched during in the second half against Texas resulted in the second suspension. He is currently playing in Lithuania.

Raymond Nelson came to UCLA last summer and played in eight games as a freshman. He had no receptions.

Nelson was ranked 25th nationally among tight ends by as a senior at Modesto Christian High School.

--Chris Foster

Photo: UCLA tight end Raymond Nelson loses control of the ball after being hit by defenders Jared Koster and Dylan Price (not pictured) during a scrimmage at Drake Stadium. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

UCLA football: Mora says no to 'over-the-wall' days

UCLA-logoZero tolerance is UCLA Coach Jim Mora's stand on the Bruins’ tradition of going "over the wall."

UCLA players bolted from practice Tuesday, a tradition that dates back to 1980. Mora addressed it on Wednesday.

“It’s completely unacceptable and will not be part of the program going forward,” Mora said. “It’s a privilege, not a right, to play football for the UCLA Bruins. With the commitment you make when you sign on there comes a commitment to do what is asked of you by your coaches on a daily basis. I can just tell you in no uncertain terms that that tradition will not be part of tradition going forward.”

Mora said he and Athletic Director Dan Guerrero discussed such matters during the interview process.

“We both agree that the culture of UCLA football needs to change,” Mora said. “We’re going to do all we can to change it.”

Other UCLA coaches have tried to end the practice of ditching practice by negotiating alternatives. Karl Dorrell would schedule the day. Rick Neuheisel tried offering seniors a special day off.

Mora had a more direct approach in mind, saying, “I’m not about making threats and I’ll keep that between the players and myself, but I can tell you this, my general feeling is if they feel they want to skip out on practice and skip over the wall, they might as well keep going because they are not a part of what I want to be part of.”

-- Chris Foster

UCLA football: Marcus Rios becomes Jim L. Mora's first recruit

Full UCLA LOGONew UCLA Coach Jim L. Mora snagged his first recruit Sunday, as Marcus Rios, a cornerback from Elk Grove Oaks High near Sacramento, will attend UCLA.

Rios, 6 feet, 170 pounds, is ranked 19th by and 20th by at his position. He is a physical player who could develop into a lock-down cornerback.

Mora and UCLA assistant Angus McClure were in Sacramento last week, Mora’s first recruiting trip since being hired.


UCLA routs UC Davis, 82-39

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Packers lose to Chiefs, bid for perfect season ends

-- Chris Foster

UCLA football: Inoke Breckterfield stays as defensive line coach

Full UCLA LOGOInoke Breckterfield will remain on the UCLA football team's coaching staff as the defensive line coach, Coach Jim L. Mora said Thursday.

Breckterfield was brought in last season when former coach Rick Neuheisel replaced most of the defensive staff. Breckterfield coached at Montana in 2010 and at Portland State in 2009.

Mora still has not hired a defensive coordinator, linebacker coach and secondary coach on defense.


Chauncey Billups silent, but Blake Griffin likes Clippers' moves

Kings beat Columbus, 2-1, end five-game losing streak

Sam Farmer: New York Jets remain within striking distance of playoffs in AFC

-- Chris Foster

UCLA football: Jim Mora hires three assistant coaches

Jim L. Mora, hired as UCLA's football coach on Friday, has wasted little time in assembling a staff.

On Tuesday, Southern Methodist assistant Adrian Klemm was hired as offensive line coach and run-game coach. On Wednesday, Washington assistant Demetrice Martin was brought in as defensive back coach. Arizona State assistant Steve Broussard has been hired as receiver coach.

All three come with strong recruiting backgrounds with ties to the fertile Los Angeles area.

Klemm played at Santa Monica's St. Monica High School and Hawaii. He played for the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers, winning three Super Bowls. The Inglewood native has been an effective recruiter in Southern California.

Martin played at Pasadena Muir High School and Michigan State. He spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at USC in 2007 and 2008 before joining the Washington staff.

Broussard, who played with the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals, began his coaching career at Chino Don Lugo High School.

Mora was at UCLA's practice Wednesday, talking to support staff.


UCLA's Jim Mora has work cut out for him

T.J. Simers: Jim Mora -- good guy, good coach, bad choice for UCLA

New UCLA Coach Jim L. Mora has some catching up to do, and so do Bruins

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Jim L. Mora. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times


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